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Old 05-04-2013, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,204,903 times
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I find RVing not cost effective unless you live in one FT. And mostly, you can't boondock / park in any residential street in probably all US cities, - this initially was my attraction to vacationing in RV's. If you visit a place you either go to the local campground and setup there or you boondock at SuperWalmarts. But you probably can't unhook you trailer at Walmart while you visit the rest of the city [lock up with a hitch lock].

So for me, ever since summer 2009, the only "road trip" vacation I took is 100 miles to Rockford, IL each year for the Vintage BMX show. 3 times I went to Motel6 and last year I slept in my new 2005 Dodge G.C. SXT. So I guess I can't justify a $20,000 RV trailer setup when I rarely go on road trips. If I went 45 days a year on the road and visited other cities maybe a used RV trailer setup would be worth it, about $8000 worth. So maybe that's why I'm tempted to put an electronic brake controller on my minivan... Suppose a good used RV deal pops up on Craigslist - then I'd be ready to tow it away.

Then if I get an RV the cheapest good RV storage place is a far 50 miles away from me, at $50 / month. At least with a call they will service your RV and winterize it too.

How about you? Do you find RVing a big money drain? If you occasionally road trip was it worth it? If you road trip a lot is it cost effective compared to going to Motel6?

I keep dreaming that I'd like an RV but a financial analysis says it's not worth it, unless I won the Lotto. Then I'd have lots of money and time to travel.

And some cities are not practical to visit in an RV. Like NYC, closest campground is way far north of Manhattan. I'll just go to Motel6 in Piscatawaney for $43 a night, every 4th day for a bath, while I stealth RV / sleep in my minivan most of the time. Probably can't park a 25' Class C anywhere in NYC too, right?

Last edited by Jesse69; 05-04-2013 at 09:13 PM..
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,416 posts, read 17,391,848 times
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No, it's not cheap. As little as we use ours, I'm sure we could stay in the best hotels instead and save money. I'm certain of it. But we like spending time in the mountains, backed up to a secluded trout stream with a campfire to sit around and chew the fat. We can't find any hotels like that. The cost is worth it to us.

And also no, RVing isn't that great for city visits. When going to the city we normally stay in a hotel.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:48 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,494 posts, read 62,152,821 times
Reputation: 32168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse69 View Post
I find RVing not cost effective unless you live in one FT.
And mostly, you can't boondock / park in any residential street in probably all US cities

If you visit a place you either go to the local campground and setup there or you boondock at SuperWalmarts.
But you probably can't unhook you trailer at Walmart while you visit the rest of the city
I'll grant that most RV enthusiasts will shade the nitty-gritty details...
but did someone tell you the RV owning reality was other than what you describe?

Quote:
How about you? Do you find RVing a big money drain?
If you occasionally road trip was it worth it?
If you road trip a lot is it cost effective compared to going to Motel6?
Like all real estate deals... you'll make (or lose) on the deal when you buy.

But yeah, there are still a LOT on continuing and operating expenses.
So in short, NO. Don't go the RV route hoping it will be cost effective.

I'll go a step further though (I always do right?)...
if you haven't already owned an RV of some sort before 50... don't buy one at 65 or 70.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Great Plains
25,583 posts, read 31,836,507 times
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It is just like any other hobby or pass time. You can spend a lot of money in a hurry. It is more about enjoyment then saving money.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:28 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
22,672 posts, read 28,709,830 times
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I find it to be just about a wash. The campgrounds are cheaper than a motel, but it costs me more in gasoline to tow the trailer.

Insurance on the trailer is just a couple of dollars a year and I park at home and don't have to pay for RV storage. A trailer has no motor or transmission to repair, so repair costs are very small. However, the RV barn to store it out of the weather cost about $30,000 (which I will get back if I ever selll my house)

I bought new for a very good bargain and so far, the trailer has not depreciated a huge amount, but it will lose value over time. I am not paying financing fees, but the interest on payments would greatly increase the cost of owning an RV.

The pluses, for me: I get to sleep in my own bed, and no worries about bringing home bed bugs from a motel.

I travel with dogs and they get to stay in their own home and sleep in their own bed. That's much easier

I rarely stay in cities and there are no motels out in the forest by the lakes where I do use my trailer.

Everything I need for my trip stays packed all the time. i just need to carry out food and clothing and off we go. Speaking of food, i don't have to pay for expensive restaurant meals when I travel.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:46 AM
 
5,619 posts, read 8,551,029 times
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Obviously the less you use something the more it costs per unit of time.

And buying new or used impacts the equation.

I FT and there is no question that it's cheaper... And more convinant, no leases to break, and little packing when it's time to move.
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Oregon
1,379 posts, read 2,672,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post

The pluses, for me: I get to sleep in my own bed, and no worries about bringing home bed bugs from a motel.

I travel with dogs and they get to stay in their own home and sleep in their own bed. That's much easier

I rarely stay in cities and there are no motels out in the forest by the lakes where I do use my trailer.

Everything I need for my trip stays packed all the time. i just need to carry out food and clothing and off we go. Speaking of food, i don't have to pay for expensive restaurant meals when I travel.
^^^I agree.
We tent camped a LOT. But, as we got older we thought an RV would be really nice! Still, we waited until we retired and could spend more time using it. Also, our retirement home has plenty of room to park our trailer. So, no extra storage fees.
We also keep ours stocked up and ready to go. Just chill the fridge, pack the food and go.
We have relatives about 800 miles away. When we need to go visit them, we do not find it cost effective to tow the trailer. We prefer NOT to stay in RV Parks, which is what you find in and near most cities.
Also.....we bought ours used. Paid cash and got most of what we were looking for. We intended to buy new, but plans changed when the economy took a dive.
We're very happy with our decision!
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:26 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,558 posts, read 39,944,045 times
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There are ways to RV and save money, some cities like Seattle have 'homeless' RV lots. You have to move everyday, but NO cost but fuel. If you burn used fryer grease, = no cost. You can get a beater Diesel SCHOOL BUS CHEAP.

I have a handy dandy spreadsheet for all my options. Usually the cheapest is 50 MPG passat and a private Guest house ($10/ night). But I have 3 different RV type solutions, and they all get plenty of use.

depends on the overall plan, I also do LOTS of fly/drive. Been getting $28 airfare to fly 1400 miles. That won't last forever. But It has worked for me this winter. Next yr I will probably take my RV and fly-drive as well. (I leave my RV parked at airport and fly home or on another trip.... Tucson has Airport parking for $3/day).

For CHEAP and camping I take a motorcycle and a bedroll, and pull off on country roads "Then came Bronson style" Has worked for 40 yrs...
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:01 PM
 
5,551 posts, read 6,980,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post

I rarely stay in cities and there are no motels out in the forest by the lakes where I do use my trailer.

There are some motels by the lakes where I camp, but the motels are booked solid during the prime tourist months.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:33 AM
 
Location: NY
9,071 posts, read 15,035,708 times
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I am in it as an enjoyable hobby, not as an avenue for frugal travel. So whether or not it costs me more or less than another way to vacation is really irrelevant.
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